The Associated Professional Sleep Societies held their 31st annual meeting in Boston June 3rd through 7th. You can read more about Sleep 2017 by clicking here.
Among other discussions was cataplexy. Researchers were investigating how to best reduce cataplexy in patients (specifically children) with narcolepsy. The conclusion? They found that sodium oxybate may be an effective treatment.
This idea was presented by Giuseppe Plazzi. He is from the Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences at the University of Bologna in Italy. He and his colleagues examined 106 pediatric patients who had both a narcolepsy and cataplexy diagnosis. All of the patients were between age 7 and 16 who were taking either sodium oxybate or sodium oxybate-naïve.
Following a stable dose period, Plazzi and his team conducted a double-blind placebo withdrawl period analysis with 63 of the patients. It was 2 weeks long and participants were randomly assigned either a sodium oxybate treatment (stable dose) or placebo. An interim analysis of 35 of those patients showed that the drug was effective.
No safety concerns were found other than those already predicted from previous adult and pediatric studies.
You can read more about this study here, but here’s to hoping that further research is completed on this promising treatment possibility.
It may not be a cure, but reducing cataplexy could greatly improve the quality of life of narcolepsy patients.